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Finding the best business processes for customer orders

Restaurant Point of Sale systems have improved over the last two decades, helping to streamline the process of order tracking in kitchens, allowing them to stop worrying about paper tickets, and missed orders, and focus more on cooking the best meal possible for their clients. The process of taking orders in the meal prep industry is only now coming around to improving the ordering processes, and saving time and attention for meal prep entrepreneurs.

Meal Prep delivery companies take orders from clients, and voila, a day or two later, the prepared meals are delivered to clients in clean and organized packages. But behind the scenes, the tasks from receiving orders to delivering prepared meals can be a frustrating mess of different processes and software, all before cooking can begin. Looking under the hood of any meal prep company, we have seen meal prep entrepreneurs using various e-commerce platforms to receive client orders. These e-commerce solutions are built for other business models, focusing on product sales, and not conducive to the food industry, creating significant operational challenges.

After the orders come in, they are entered into a spreadsheet, with the meal prep entrepreneur creating a spreadsheet calculating the total number of meals to prepare. It is not too crazy of a process, but it introduces a significant amount of user error. Make one mistake and your entire production line is off. Orders need to be double-checked; reviewed to catch any special meals which include allergens; and assessed for preferences and extra portions.

After all that, the next step is converting this list into a workable shopping list, breaking down all of the meals into a list of ingredients, then combining all of the ingredients again. We’ve seen this process take on any number of forms with multiple steps and formulas pulling from various tables and worksheets. The number of potential errors and missed meals grows the more complex a spreadsheet gets. I call this ‘ordering gone bad.’ It’s the first in a long list of headaches cooks face daily and one that can be fixed.

The ideal solution is a fully integrated order management and shopping list software that consolidates your client’s orders into an organized system and pulls from your recipes to automatically calculate all of the ingredients you will need to prepare all of your client’s meals. No more spreadsheets with multiple cell references, just a clean straight-forward process, giving a meal prep company more time to focus on serving their client’s needs, and less time google searching nested formulas for excel.

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